It isn't like this is a complete surprise, but still, there is something incestuous about News Corp. donating $1 million to the Republican Governors' Association in order for the Republican Governors' Association to mount high-profile attack campaigns on Democratic candidates. I think it's safe for everyone to eliminate the terms "fair" and "balanced" from any discussion of Fox News.
More disturbing to me than even the editorial compromise that comes from such a contribution is the fact that the largest shareholder (besides Murdoch) in News Corp is Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who is launching an Arabic News Network in partnership with News Corp. That raises all sorts of ethical and political issues for me. Does the corporate veil shield News Corp from the ban on contributions from foreign countries? It likely does, but it certainly should disqualify Fox News from being considered a "news outlet."
News Corp. isn't the only member of the RGA Million Dollar Roundtable, either, though they hold the record for the most compromised by it. David Koch has also donated $1 million to the cause, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce has given $2,547,500 in 2010.
There are many other corporate members of the Six-Figure club. Keep in mind these are cumulative totals through June 30, 2010. Expect them to at least double by November:
- AT&T: $280,000
- Chevron: $150,000
- Coca-Cola Bottling Company: $100,000
- Coca-Cola Company: $135,000
- Consolidated Energy: $100,000
- Contran Corp: $100,000 (also $25,000 from Harold Simmons, CEO Total: $125,000)
- Devon Energy: $250,000
- Eli Lilly: $210,000
- Emerson: $100,000
- FirstEnergy Corp: $250,000
- Philip Geier: $100,000
- General Electric Co: $105,000
- Hewlett-Packard: $100,900
- Hunt Consolidated: $100,000
- IQ Innovations: $200,000
- Jacobs Entertainment: $125,000
- Liberty Mutual Group: $100,000
- Metropolitan Milwaukee Assoc. of Commerce: $115,000
- Larry Mizel/MDC Holdings: $100,000
- MTR Gaming: $125,000
- Mugar Enterprises/David Mugar: $100,000
- Murray Energy Corporation: $100,000
- Natixis Global Asset Management, LP: $100,000
- New Balance: $100,000
- Nextera Energy Resources, Inc.: $100,000
- Oracle: $100,000
- Peabody Investments Corp: $120,000
- Bruce Rauner/GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC: $100,000
- Ryan Innovative Solutions: $100,000
- SAS Institute: $130,000
- SEIU: $100,000
- Paul Singer/Elliott Management: $500,000
- Jack Taylor/Enterprise Holdings: $190,000 (Also $50,000 from Andrew Taylor, CEO and Phyllis Taylor $25,000 Total $265,000)
- Travelers Indemnity Company: $200,000
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc: $140,000
- Richard DeVos/Alticor: $150,000
Keep in mind, this is only the list from the June, 2010 quarterly report. I'm certain there are many more on the March 2010 report who poured their money in at the first of the year.
For the publicly held corporations like News Corp, those donations come right off the bottom line. Funny how employees are overhead to cut, lay off, underpay and overwork in order to boost that bottom line, but million-dollar contributions to Haley Barbour's attack machine are just part of the cost of doing business.
Not funny. But true.